Audit software is used to interrogate a client’s system. It can be either packaged, off-the-shelf software or it can be purpose written to work on a client’s system. The main advantage of these programs is that they can be used to scrutinize large volumes of data, which it would be inefficient to do manually. The programs can then present the results so that they can be investigated further. These procedures can simplify the auditor’s task by selecting samples for testing, identifying risk areas and by performing certain substantive procedure. The software does not, however, replace the need for the auditor’s own procedures
Advantages of audit software include:
- They are independent of the system being audited and will use a read-only copy of the file to avoid any corruption of an organization’s data.
- Many audit-specific routines are used such as sampling.
- Provides documentation of each test performed in the software that can be used as documentation in the auditor’s work papers.